For all the concern about the Nationals’ offense in the playoffs without Wilson Ramos, his replacement provided their biggest hit thus far in the postseason.
With two on and two out in the bottom of the fourth inning, catcher Jose Lobaton launched a 1-1 curveball from Dodgers starter Rich Hill curveball to left field to give the Nats a 3-2 lead in Game 2 of the NLDS.
The homer provided a much-needed jolt to a Washington lineup that had struggled to get anything going off Hill. Manager Dusty Baker said prior to the game he chose to go with Lobaton behind the dish over rookie Pedro Severino because of the former's career success against the Dodgers lefty. Through five innings, the Nats' skipper is looking wise for doing so.
Hill was chased from the game an inning later after Daniel Murphy's RBI single to extend the lead to 4-2. If the Nats can hold on, it will be their first home playoff win since 2012.
The Nationals visited several Washington D.C.-area little league baseball teams on Saturday before their afternoon game against the Padres.
The Nats’ Youth Baseball Uniform Program enables the team to get involved in their community. In addition to visiting local youth teams, the Nationals give all each player a jersey, a hat and the opportunity to come to a game at Nats Park.
RELATED: BRYCE HARPER LAUNCHES MAMMOTH HOME RUN INTO THIRD DECK AT NATIONAL PARK
The goal of the program is to “breakdown and minimize financial barriers that can prevent kids from playing baseball.”
Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Max Scherzer were among the 10 Nats who went on the community visits.
Harper at one point encouraged kids not to settle for losing, saying “as much as they might tell you it’s okay you lost - no.”
Giving back to the community has always been important for the Washington Nationals, and all the players - from little leaguers to major leaguers - seem to enjoy it.
More Nationals: 'YOU CAN'T NICKEL AND DIME A BULLPEN'
Bryce Harper had been in a little bit of a slump heading into Friday's game against the Padres, but in the seventh inning, he got back to what he does best.
With a full count and a runner aboard, Harper launched an absolute bomb that landed in the third deck down the right field line at Nationals Park. That means a new seat will be painted red where the ball landed.
Check out the blast for yourself:
It was the 15th homer of the year for Harper, which leads the National League.
More Nationals: Scherzer dominates Padres with 13-strikeout game